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Food Safety Issues/Frozen Prime Rib Roast (for 3 yrs)


Hello - we have in the oven currently, a 2 and 1/2 lb prime rib roast that's been in our freezer since December 2012.  We had it in at 475 degrees for 20 minutes, and now it's "low and slow" - I sure hope it is okay to eat because it smells pretty good.  Is it safe to eat?

Hi Jen,

As long as the prime rib roast was continuously frozen it is safe to cook and consume.

Freezer guidelines are designed for quality, not safety.  In other words, the longer that a food is left in the freezer the quality (taste, color, texture) decrease.  Food that has been in the freezer for years is safe to consume, but the taste, color and texture will probably not be as good as food that has been frozen for less time.

Here's hoping your prime rib is delicious.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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